Report by Pew Research: “Advances in the internet, artificial intelligence (AI) and online applications have allowed humans to vastly expand their capabilities and increase their capacity to tackle complex problems. These advances have given people the ability to instantly access and share knowledge and amplified their personal and collective power to understand and shape their surroundings. Today there is general agreement that smart machines, bots and systems powered mostly by machine learning and artificial intelligence will quickly increase in speed and sophistication between now and 2035.
As individuals more deeply embrace these technologies to augment, improve and streamline their lives, they are continuously invited to outsource more decision-making and personal autonomy to digital tools.
Some analysts have concerns about how business, government and social systems are becoming more automated. They fear humans are losing the ability to exercise judgment and make decisions independent of these systems.
Others optimistically assert that throughout history humans have generally benefited from technological advances. They say that when problems arise, new regulations, norms and literacies help ameliorate the technology’s shortcomings. And they believe these harnessing forces will take hold, even as automated digital systems become more deeply woven into daily life.
Thus the question: What is the future of human agency? Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center asked experts to share their insights on this; 540 technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, academics and activists responded. Specifically, they were asked:
By 2035, will smart machines, bots and systems powered by artificial intelligence be designed to allow humans to easily be in control of most tech-aided decision-making that is relevant to their lives?
The results of this nonscientific canvassing:
- 56% of these experts agreed with the statement that by 2035 smart machines, bots and systems will not be designed to allow humans to easily be in control of most tech-aided decision-making.
- 44% said they agreed with the statement that by 2035 smart machines, bots and systems will be designed to allow humans to easily be in control of most tech-aided decision-making.
It should be noted that in explaining their answers, many of these experts said the future of these technologies will have both positive and negative consequences for human agency. They also noted that through the ages, people have either allowed other entities to make decisions for them or have been forced to do so by tribal and national authorities, religious leaders, government bureaucrats, experts and even technology tools themselves…(More)”.